Bachelor of Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (2011)
Doctor of Philosophy, Indian Institute of Science (2018)
Billy Loo, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Abdominopelvic FLASH Irradiation Improves PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in Preclinical Models of Ovarian Cancer.
Molecular cancer therapeutics
Treatment of advanced ovarian cancer using PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade shows promise, however current clinical trials are limited by modest response rates. Radiation therapy has been shown to synergize with PD-1/PD-L1 blockade in some cancers but has not been utilized in advanced ovarian cancer due to toxicity associated with conventional abdominopelvic irradiation. While ultra-high dose rate (FLASH) irradiation has emerged as a strategy to reduce radiation-induced toxicity, the immunomodulatory properties of FLASH irradiation remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that single high dose abdominopelvic FLASH irradiation promoted intestinal regeneration and maintained tumor control in a preclinical mouse model of ovarian cancer. Reduced tumor burden in conventional and FLASH treated mice was associated with an early decrease in intratumoral regulatory T cells and a late increase in cytolytic CD8+ T cells. Compared to conventional irradiation, FLASH irradiation increased intratumoral T cell infiltration at early timepoints. Moreover, FLASH irradiation maintained the ability to increase intratumoral CD8+ T cell infiltration and enhance the efficacy of alphaPD-1 therapy in preclinical models of ovarian cancer. These data highlight the potential for FLASH irradiation to improve the therapeutic efficacy of checkpoint inhibition in the treatment of ovarian cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-21-0358
View details for PubMedID 34866044
Multicellular spheroids as in vitro models of oxygen depletion during FLASH irradiation.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
PURPOSE: The differential response of normal and tumor tissues to ultra-high dose rate radiation (FLASH) has raised new hope for treating solid tumors but, to date, the mechanism remains elusive. One leading hypothesis is that FLASH radiochemically depletes oxygen from irradiated tissues faster than it is replenished through diffusion. The purpose of this study is to investigate these effects within hypoxic multicellular tumor spheroids, through simulations and experiments.MATERIALS AND METHODS: Physicobiological equations were derived to model (i) the diffusion and metabolism of oxygen within spheroids; (ii) its depletion through reactions involving radiation-induced radicals; and (iii) the increase in radioresistance of spheroids, modeled according to the classical oxygen enhancement ratio and linear-quadratic response. These predictions were then tested experimentally in A549 spheroids exposed to electron irradiation at conventional (0.075 Gy/s) or FLASH (90 Gy/s) dose rates. Clonogenic survival, cell viability, and spheroid growth were scored post-radiation. Clonogenic survival of two other cell lines was also investigated.RESULTS: The existence of a hypoxic core in unirradiated tumor spheroids is predicted by simulations and visualized by fluorescence microscopy. Upon FLASH irradiation, this hypoxic core transiently expands, engulfing a large number of well-oxygenated cells. In contrast, oxygen is steadily replenished during slower conventional irradiation. Experimentally, clonogenic survival was around 3-fold higher in FLASH-irradiated spheroid compared to conventional irradiation, but no significant difference was observed for well-oxygenated 2D-cultured cells. This differential survival is consistent with the predictions of the computational model. FLASH irradiation of spheroids resulted in a dose-modifying factor of around 1.3 for doses above 10 Gy.CONCLUSION: Tumor spheroids can be used as a model to study FLASH irradiation in vitro . The improved survival of tumor spheroids receiving FLASH radiation confirms that ultra-fast radiochemical oxygen depletion and its slow replenishment are critical components of the FLASH effect.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2021.01.050
View details for PubMedID 33545301
- FLASH irradiation enhances the therapeutic index of abdominal radiotherapy in mice AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2020
- Total abdominal ultra-rapid FLASH irradiation enhances the efficacy of PD-1 inhibition in preclinical models of ovarian cancer AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2020
Abdominal FLASH irradiation reduces radiation-induced gastrointestinal toxicity for the treatment of ovarian cancer in mice.
2020; 10 (1): 21600
Radiation therapy is the most effective cytotoxic therapy for localized tumors. However, normal tissue toxicity limits the radiation dose and the curative potential of radiation therapy when treating larger target volumes. In particular, the highly radiosensitive intestine limits the use of radiation for patients with intra-abdominal tumors. In metastatic ovarian cancer, total abdominal irradiation (TAI) was used as an effective postsurgical adjuvant therapy in the management of abdominal metastases. However, TAI fell out of favor due to high toxicity of the intestine. Here we utilized an innovative preclinical irradiation platform to compare the safety and efficacy of TAI ultra-high dose rate FLASH irradiation to conventional dose rate (CONV) irradiation in mice. We demonstrate that single high dose TAI-FLASH produced less mortality from gastrointestinal syndrome, spared gut function and epithelial integrity, and spared cell death in crypt base columnar cells compared to TAI-CONV irradiation. Importantly, TAI-FLASH and TAI-CONV irradiation had similar efficacy in reducing tumor burden while improving intestinal function in a preclinical model of ovarian cancer metastasis. These findings suggest that FLASH irradiation may be an effective strategy to enhance the therapeutic index of abdominal radiotherapy, with potential application to metastatic ovarian cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-78017-7
View details for PubMedID 33303827
FLASH Irradiation Results in Reduced Severe Skin Toxicity Compared to Conventional-Dose-Rate Irradiation.
Radiation therapy, along with surgery and chemotherapy, is one of the main treatments for cancer. While radiotherapy is highly effective in the treatment of localized tumors, its main limitation is its toxicity to normal tissue. Previous preclinical studies have reported that ultra-high dose-rate (FLASH) irradiation results in reduced toxicity to normal tissues while controlling tumor growth to a similar extent relative to conventional-dose-rate (CONV) irradiation. To our knowledge this is the first report of a dose-response study in mice comparing the effect of FLASH irradiation vs. CONV irradiation on skin toxicity. We found that FLASH irradiation results in both a lower incidence and lower severity of skin ulceration than CONV irradiation 8 weeks after single-fraction hemithoracic irradiation at high doses (30 and 40 Gy). Survival was also higher after FLASH hemithoracic irradiation (median survival >180 days at doses of 30 and 40 Gy) compared to CONV irradiation (median survival 100 and 52 days at 30 and 40 Gy, respectively). No ulceration was observed at doses 20 Gy or below in either FLASH or CONV. These results suggest a shifting of the dose-response curve for radiation-induced skin ulceration to the right for FLASH, compared to CONV irradiation, suggesting the potential for an enhanced therapeutic index for radiation therapy of cancer.
View details for DOI 10.1667/RADE-20-00090
View details for PubMedID 32853385
Fully 3D refraction correction dosimetry system
PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY
2016; 61 (4): 1722–37
The irradiation of selective regions in a polymer gel dosimeter results in an increase in optical density and refractive index (RI) at those regions. An optical tomography-based dosimeter depends on rayline path through the dosimeter to estimate and reconstruct the dose distribution. The refraction of light passing through a dose region results in artefacts in the reconstructed images. These refraction errors are dependant on the scanning geometry and collection optics. We developed a fully 3D image reconstruction algorithm, algebraic reconstruction technique-refraction correction (ART-rc) that corrects for the refractive index mismatches present in a gel dosimeter scanner not only at the boundary, but also for any rayline refraction due to multiple dose regions inside the dosimeter. In this study, simulation and experimental studies have been carried out to reconstruct a 3D dose volume using 2D CCD measurements taken for various views. The study also focuses on the effectiveness of using different refractive-index matching media surrounding the gel dosimeter. Since the optical density is assumed to be low for a dosimeter, the filtered backprojection is routinely used for reconstruction. We carry out the reconstructions using conventional algebraic reconstruction (ART) and refractive index corrected ART (ART-rc) algorithms. The reconstructions based on FDK algorithm for cone-beam tomography has also been carried out for comparison. Line scanners and point detectors, are used to obtain reconstructions plane by plane. The rays passing through dose region with a RI mismatch does not reach the detector in the same plane depending on the angle of incidence and RI. In the fully 3D scanning setup using 2D array detectors, light rays that undergo refraction are still collected and hence can still be accounted for in the reconstruction algorithm. It is found that, for the central region of the dosimeter, the usable radius using ART-rc algorithm with water as RI matched medium is 71.8%, an increase of 6.4% compared to that achieved using conventional ART algorithm. Smaller diameter dosimeters are scanned with dry air scanning by using a wide-angle lens that collects refracted light. The images reconstructed using cone beam geometry is seen to deteriorate in some planes as those regions are not scanned. Refraction correction is important and needs to be taken in to consideration to achieve quantitatively accurate dose reconstructions. Refraction modeling is crucial in array based scanners as it is not possible to identify refracted rays in the sinogram space.
View details for DOI 10.1088/0031-9155/61/4/1722
View details for Web of Science ID 000370452500020
View details for PubMedID 26841072
Effects of refractive index mismatch in optical CT imaging of polymer gel dosimeters
2015; 42 (2): 750–59
Proposing an image reconstruction technique, algebraic reconstruction technique-refraction correction (ART-rc). The proposed method takes care of refractive index mismatches present in gel dosimeter scanner at the boundary, and also corrects for the interior ray refraction. Polymer gel dosimeters with high dose regions have higher refractive index and optical density compared to the background medium, these changes in refractive index at high dose results in interior ray bending.The inclusion of the effects of refraction is an important step in reconstruction of optical density in gel dosimeters. The proposed ray tracing algorithm models the interior multiple refraction at the inhomogeneities. Jacob's ray tracing algorithm has been modified to calculate the pathlengths of the ray that traverses through the higher dose regions. The algorithm computes the length of the ray in each pixel along its path and is used as the weight matrix. Algebraic reconstruction technique and pixel based reconstruction algorithms are used for solving the reconstruction problem. The proposed method is tested with numerical phantoms for various noise levels. The experimental dosimetric results are also presented.The results show that the proposed scheme ART-rc is able to reconstruct optical density inside the dosimeter better than the results obtained using filtered backprojection and conventional algebraic reconstruction approaches. The quantitative improvement using ART-rc is evaluated using gamma-index. The refraction errors due to regions of different refractive indices are discussed. The effects of modeling of interior refraction in the dose region are presented.The errors propagated due to multiple refraction effects have been modeled and the improvements in reconstruction using proposed model is presented. The refractive index of the dosimeter has a mismatch with the surrounding medium (for dry air or water scanning). The algorithm reconstructs the dose profiles by estimating refractive indices of multiple inhomogeneities having different refractive indices and optical densities embedded in the dosimeter. This is achieved by tracking the path of the ray that traverses through the dosimeter. Extensive simulation studies have been carried out and results are found to be matching that of experimental results.
View details for DOI 10.1118/1.4905043
View details for Web of Science ID 000349229600024
View details for PubMedID 25652489
- Ray tracing based path-length calculations for polarized light tomographic imaging SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2015
- Sparse Recovery Methods Hold Promise for Diffuse Optical Tomographic Image Reconstruction IEEE JOURNAL OF SELECTED TOPICS IN QUANTUM ELECTRONICS 2014; 20 (2)